A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this entertaining, squeaky clean Disney TV movie has plenty of positive messages. Pete's journey from uncertainty to self-confidence is an excellent example for tweens struggling with their own identity woes, and the movie offers lots for parents and their kids to discuss about friends and peer pressure. Content-wise, there's little to worry about aside from some mild flirting that results in a brief kiss.
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What's the story?
Pete Ivey (Jason Dolley) is the type of guy who's easily overlooked in the school halls -- unlike his boisterous best friend, Cleatus Poole (Mitchel Musso), who's proudly carrying on the family tradition of spreading school spirit as the spirited Brewster High chicken. But when the costume prompts an allergy attack, Poole begs Pete to take his place at center court; the resulting anonymity frees Pete to discover his inner star. Trouble is, it's Poole who's getting all the attention from fans, who think he's the one behind the mask. Meanwhile, Pete's attempts to get noticed by pretty new girl Angela (Josie Loren) are complicated by the fact that she's also entranced with the mysterious man in the chicken suit. In the end, Pete must decide whether facing the possibility of rejection is worth revealing himself for what -- and who -- he really is.
Is it any good?
Anyone who's ever faced an identity crisis will find a hero in Pete, and Disney veteran Dolley's performance as the uncertain teen makes it easy to root for this lovable underdog. This movie's premise could easily be cheesy enough to put parents off, but the talented young cast makes the story surprisingly enjoyable for a range of age groups.
Entertainment value aside, HATCHING PETE also offers substance for its family -- and especially tween -- viewers. Strong messages about self-respect, self-confidence, friendship, and honesty permeate the storyline, making it a great tool for jumpstarting family discussions on social issues that affect kids and tweens. And Pete and Angela's developing relationship is cast in a positive light, reminding kids that, in the end, the most effective way to earn people's respect is to just be yourself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about kids' relationships with their peers. Kids: Have you ever felt, like Pete, that people don't notice you? Do you want to be noticed? If so, what do you do to make that happen?
Do you ever feel pressure to behave or believe a certain way because of what your friends are doing? Why is it hard to stand up to peer pressure? Who do you turn to for support?
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